|Born||10 August 1891
Dresden, Königreich Sachsen
|Died||14 April 1917 (aged 25)
|Unit||FFA 20, Jasta 5, Jasta 9|
|Awards||Royal House Order of Hohenzollern, Iron Cross First and Second Class|
World War I service
Baldamus was in German aviation from the start of the First World War. Ranked as a Gefreiter, he flew for FFA 20 beginning 29 March 1915. On 20 September 1915, he was commissioned a Leutnant. By the end of 1915, Baldamus had been awarded the Albert Order, Knight Second Class.
He scored his first aerial victory on 15 March 1916; he scored his fifth confirmed victory on 29 July 1916, though details of some of his earlier wins are missing. Having performed the rather unusual feat of becoming an ace before being assigned to a fighter squadron, Baldamus was now posted to fly fighters with Jasta 5 on 27 August 1916. He moved on to Jasta 9 in early November 1916. On 2 December he closed out 1916 with nine victories.
The requirement for winning the Pour le Merite had been set at eight victories for the very earliest German aces, the so-called Fokker Scourge. Now, as Baldamus seemed to qualify, the requirement was raised out of his reach. However, he did receive the prestigious Knight's Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order on 8 January 1917.
Baldamus resumed scoring on 23 January 1917, and steadily more single victories, reaching 17 on 12 April 1917. Two days later, at 1140 hours, Hartmut Baldamus slammed into a midair collision with the French Nieuport of Caporal Simon. Baldamus crashed to his death near Sainte-Marie-à-Py.
Sources of information
- The Aerodrome website http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/germany/baldamus.php
- Franks et al 1993 pp. 64-65.
- Above the Lines: The Aces and Fighter Units of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service and Flanders Marine Corps, 1914–1918. Norman Franks, Frank W. Bailey, Russell Guest. Grub Street, 1993. ISBN 0-948817-73-9, ISBN 978-0-948817-73-1.